According to sources, Microsoft is scheduled to release Beta 2 of Visual Studio 2005, code-named Whidbey, on March 31. Sources also said Microsoft is expected to release the release candidate version of Visual Studio 2005 around the time of the Microsoft PDC (Professional Developers Conference) in Los Angeles in mid-September.
Microsoft officials had said to expect the final Whidbey release to ship in late summer 2005.
Microsoft would not comment on the release dates specifically, but a company spokesman said the company has maintained that it would have the second beta of Whidbey in the first quarter of 2005.
Some developers had been expecting Microsoft to drop the code earlier, as early as February at the VSLive! Conference in San Francisco Feb. 6 to 10. However, Microsoft will not be releasing any Whidbey Beta 2 bits until late March at the earliest.
Microsoft released a CTP (community technology preview) of Whidbey in mid-December, and a CTP of SQL Server 2005 in mid-October. Meanwhile, another Whidbey CTP is expected next month, sources said.
Beta 2 of Whidbey includes a "Go Live" license, which means that Microsoft is telling developers that applications developed with Whidbey and taken live will be solid. The company came up with this Go Live strategy when ASP.Net was in beta.
Said one developer who asked not to be identified: "The Go Live license will be nice for all of those waiting to do something with it [Whidbey]. This beta cycle is getting painful. They came out so long ago with the community tech previews and Beta 1 that people are getting annoyed.
"It is such a double-edged sword for Microsoft. Everyone wants them to release a beta or CTP as soon as possible, then they get ticked off that they cant really do anything with the stuff they build. Finally, you can do something constructive with it. With the CTPs and Beta 1, anything more then a few hours of kicking the tires was pointless."
Meanwhile, Microsoft will be hosting a Whidbey Compiler Developer Lab at its Redmond, Wash., campus Feb. 7 to 9, to familiarize compiler developers with the latest features of Whidbey, and with writing compilers for the Common Language Runtime.